Dance music is coming to an arena near you: On July 27, Kaskade will become the first DJ to play Los Angeles’s Staples Center. And mainstream concert promoters such as Live Nation are diving into the electronic dance explosion.
Electric Daisy Carnival, which is being held this weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is the ultimate big stage for DJs. These larger-than-life dance titans, many of whom find as many fans via radio as they do in clubs, provide an over-the-top experience.
Coachella introduced electronic dance music to the contemporary alt-rock crowd, even as EDC brought DJs to the masses. So which is king of the EDM concert world?
Frankly, they’re starting to look like each other. Coachella’s 2012 dance lineup mirrored that of the previous Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas: Afrojack, Avicii, Calvin Harris and David Guetta were on both bills.
No wonder we heard that Coachella’s promoter, Goldenvoice, had expressed interest in buying EDC.
If we were to vote, however, we’d say the Coachella of old had the right vibe. It seemed to go out of its way to book left-of-center dance acts such as Massive Attack that would never play on the relentlessly bouncy stages of EDC.
Seeing French duo Air perform on a Coachella main stage at sunset? That’s about as sublime as it gets.
Unfortunately, in 2010, Coachella went after EDC’s audience and booked Tiesto, Deadmau5 and Kaskade. Ravers nearly gatecrashed the show, and things felt out of control at times. We called it “Clusterfuckachella.” Really.
The next year Coachella dialed back its capacity, but it has continued to go after EDC artists.
EDC, on the other hand, has had issues of its own, dating back to the chaos that descended on its last rave at the L.A. Coliseum in 2010.
It took us six hours Friday to make the four-hour run from L.A. to Vegas — followed by another two hours getting from the Strip to the speedway, the result of a slow-moving parking lot that backed up the 15 freeway.
It was that crazy.
Whether you like the eclectic mishmash of Coachella or the straight-ahead, crowd-pleasing electricity of EDC, we’re never going back to those halcyon days of light traffic and a quick pass through the gates.
EDM is living large in the desert, and EDC is king. But Coachella can still take the crown of tastemaker.
• House Music Beef With DJ Sneak Plays Out in Steve Angello’s DJ Set
• Top Ten Awkward Coachella Dance Move GIFs
• Slideshow: Electric Daisy Carnival 2011, Las Vegas
• Sasha Rodriguez’s Post-EDC Rave Death: Parents Settle With Promoter, L.A. Coliseum
• Top Ten EDM Albums for People Who Don’t Know Shit About Dance Music